By Lekan Sowande, Abuja.
The Nigeria’s Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare said there are no definite dates for the commencement of the National Sports Festival and the National Youth Games.
The 20th National Sports Festival billed to flag off in Benin City, Edo State, was scheduled for last April 2020 while the National Youth Games planned for Ilorin, Kwara State in September 2020 were both postponed due to the outbreak of Corona Virus pandemic.
Speaking with Voice of Nigeria in Abuja, Mr. Dare said although there are possibilities of the games taken place this year but what is not certain is the date both games may hold.
“We know that thing can never remain the same again after covid-19 era, it’s going to take a while, so we have submitted to the PTF and the National Assembly a covid-19 sports resumption protocol broken into three parts, one segment to football, one for non-combat sports and the third part for the generality of sporting activities”.
He emphasized that “we can open a window for non-contact sports once we have the covid-19 infrastructure and all the protocol in place, we can start them. For the National Sports Festival and the National Youth Games, there is no certainty about the date they will hold” He said.
The National Sports Festival, a biannual competition was designed to showcase the best athletes in the country, from elite to up-and-coming, exceptionally gifted, young athletes discovered from every nook and cranny of Nigeria, across all Olympic sports, in a festival of healthy competition, cultural exchange, unity, love and friendship in the true spirit and tradition of the Olympic movement.
The three main objectives for establishing the games were to develop and showcase Nigeria’s best in all sports and unite the youths of the country.
The National Youth Games is a yearly competition meant to facilitate the discovery of budding talents in the country for further development and a platform to select athletes to represent the country at International Youth Games.